As what’s left of our pathetic excuse for a summer draws to an end and autumn seems to have been on our doorsteps for a while now, that means it’s time to think about your garden pond and all the creatures that are living there.
These forthcoming weeks are the best time to carry out any work needed as it’ll cause least disturbance to your aquatic garden guests.
Please always make sure you’re being extra-careful when delving under the water as most water-dwelling creatures are extremely delicate and fragile, even to random water movements.
It’s also common for frogs and newts to over-winter in the debris at the bottom so please try to be aware of those sensitive dudes.
If your plants have become overgrown and unruly this is the time to thin them out, re-establishing open water over roughly one third of the pond’s area, and try not to damage the pond liner too.
But don’t just chuck these plants away immediately, as they’ll most likely contain sheltering wildlife, such as water boatmen, pond snails, water spiders, great diving beetles or even those surface-tension-lovin’-bad-boys the pond skaters (pictured); that will want to return back to their watery world once you’ve gone back inside and had your cuppa.
After a day or two, all the inhabitants would have escaped back into their green murky home so then, and only then, should you add these nutrient-rich discarded plants to your compost heap.
Sadly over the last few years the trend for hard landscaping has putting considerable pressure on our back-garden’s wildlife.
An increasing trend in converting lawns into decking and making ponds redundant by filling them in means frogs have to squeeze themselves into any remaining ponds they can find.
Those of you with ponds will know only too well that there’s something to see almost all year round, and they’re a great way of introducing children to nature.
By now, the buzz and excitement of watching a mass of jelly turn into a seething ball of tadpoles and then the metamorphosis into froglets has way passed; followed by the mesmerizing dances of damselflies and dragonflies darting backwards and forwards over the water’s surface fulfilling their short but intense lifecycles.
There is a whole world of creatures inhabiting your garden that only occasionally make their presence felt but, as the long winter months beckon, they will need your support.
Digging a pond is the best way to increase biodiversity in your garden and keen wildlife watchers amongst you will know that a pond also provides a perfect watering hole for the fox or badger on their nightly jaunts.